The Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) works to take care of Canberra, the Canberra region, its citizens, animals, plants, land, and waterways.

EPSDD is responsible for a wide range of policies and programs. These include climate change and energy policy, nature conservation, environment protection policy, water, heritage, strategic and statutory planning, development approvals, building and land policy and urban design.

The Directorate's planning responsibilities aim to deliver good planning outcomes for the ACT as outlined in the Planning Act 2023, and the Planning Strategy 2018. The Territory Planning Authority, within the Directorate, administers the Territory Plan which guides how the ACT’s land is used, and makes decisions on development applications.

Other planning-related functions include:

  • building policy
  • leasing
  • land information
  • planning based research
  • street and suburb name information
  • land development projects; and
  • planning policy

For more information about EPSDD’s Environment, Water and Heritage responsibilities visit the ACT Environment website.

Meet the Chief Planner

The ACT Chief Planning Executive is responsible for the statutory planning framework for planning in the ACT, which aims to deliver independent, long-term planning to benefit Canberra's residents of today and tomorrow.

Ben Ponton

Ben Ponton is the Director-General of the ACT’s Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate and is the ACT Chief Planner.

Ben is a registered town planner with more than 30 years' experience in private and government sectors. Ben draws on this experience to deliver independent, long-term planning to benefit Canberra’s residents.


The EPSDD Organisational Chart establishes key roles and functions within the directorate. EPSDD also provides corporate and governance support for the

The Directorate, the Authority and the Agency when referred to together make up the EPSDD Portfolio.

Statutory offices and advisory bodies

Other bodies

For information about any of the following EPSDD advisory bodies please phone Access Canberra on 13 22 81 or EPSDD Customer Service on 02 6207 1923.

View other bodies
  • ACT Biosecurity Coordination Committee
  • ACT Heritage Council
  • ACT Healthy Waterways Project Control Group
  • ACT Place Names Committee
  • ACT and Region Carp Biocontrol Taskforce
  • ACT and Region Catchment Management Coordination Group
  • Audit Committee
  • Bicycle Advisory Group
  • Carbon Neutral Government Governance Committee
  • Carbon Neutral Government Implementation Committee (CNGIC)
  • Climate Change Council
  • Climate Change Steering Committee
  • Commercial Advisory Committee
  • Community and Expert Reference Group
  • Curtin Group Centre Master Plan Community Panel
  • Data Governance and Management Working Group
  • Directors-General Water Group
  • eDevelopment Renovation Project Board
  • Environment and Planning Forum
  • Environmental-Economic Accounts for ACT State of the Environment Reporting
  • EPSDD Consultative Committee
  • EPSDD Reconciliation Action Plan Committee
  • Eradication Scheme Steering Committee
  • Executive Data Governance Steering Committee
  • Executive Management Board
  • Executive Steering Committee
  • Federal Golf Club Community Panel
  • Infrastructure Coordination Group
  • Kippax Group Centre Master Plan Community Panel
  • Landscape Review Panel
  • Lower Cotter Catchment Implementation Coordination Group
  • Lower Cotter Catchment Restoration Evaluation Expert Reference Group
  • Major Project Review Group
  • Murrumbidgee River Corridor Management Plan Steering Committee
  • Namadgi Rock Art Working Group
  • National Capital Design Review Panel (NCDRP)
  • Natural Resource Management Advisory Committee
  • Planning and Construction Industry Chief Executive Reference Group
  • Portfolio Project Governance Committee
  • Public Housing Renewal Steering Committee
  • Renewable Energy Innovation Fund (REIF) Business Advisory Board
  • Reference Group (Emissions/Reduction Targets)
  • Residential Advisory Committee
  • Senior Executive Water Group
  • Scientific Committee
  • Survey Practice Advisory Committee
  • Weeds Advisory Group

Strategies and action plans

Annual Reports


All current vacancies within EPSDD are listed online. For eligibility information, how to prepare and submit your application and selection processes, visit ACTPS Careers and Employment.

Temporary register

This register is for people who have skills in:

  • architecture
  • design
  • planning
  • compliance
  • building
  • leasing
  • administration
  • surveying
  • customer services.

Email EPSDD.HR@act.gov.au to apply, stating your area of interest and any relevant work experience. Please include a current resume and contact details of two referees.

Postal address

Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate
GPO Box 158
Canberra City ACT 2601

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